Dr. Robert Furgason
|Dr. Robert R. "Bob" Furgason became the first Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute in January 2005. He stepped down from his post March 31, 2008, giving the university ample time to choose his successor. Dr. Larry D. McKinney, former director of Coastal Fisheries and senior director of Aquatic Resources for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), took Furgason's place as HRI's new executive director in July 2008.
While at the HRI, Furgason oversaw the development of the new Institute, from the earliest planning stages through the construction of the state-of-the-art facility. He also played a key role in bringing the endowed chairs and other personnel onboard. Edward Harte encouraged the administration to appoint Dr. Furgason for this role of developing the HRI, because his experience as President of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) made him the perfect candidate. Not only did he have a thorough understanding of the university where the Institute was to be located, but he knew how to make something grow: During Furgason's 14-year tenure as TAMU-CC president, the size of the student body increased dramatically, as did the number of programs and degree offerings. The regional university has earned a reputation as being one of the best in Texas and the nation.
Awards and Recognitions:
- B.S. (Ch.E) and M.S. degrees, University of Idaho
- Ph.D., Northwestern University
- Additional work, University of Wisconsin
- Honorary Doctorate of Administrative Science degree, University of Idaho, 2006